Top Tips to maintain knee health
Strength Exercise: Strength training that focuses heavily on building up muscles in the quadriceps and hamstrings can decrease pain and help people better tolerate arthritis and other structural knee problems. Staying active helps control weight and build muscle, both of which can help protect your knees from further damage.
Stretching: Stretches that focus on the calf, hamstring and quadriceps muscles take pressure off the knees and kneecaps. A well-conditioned, flexible body is less likely to develop overuse problems in the knees. Try to stretch daily or at least three times a week. But don’t do it when your muscles are cold. Do a light warm-up first, like walking for 10 minutes, to loosen up the joint, ligaments, and tendons around the knee.
Footwear: Supportive and comfortable shoes help take pressure off the knee joint by promoting proper leg alignment and balance.
Core strength: Stronger abdominals and back muscles help your balance, so you’re less likely to fall or get injured. Core muscles also help control lower limb biomechanics. Add core (abdominal, back, and hip) strengthening exercises to your routine. Pilates and hydrotherapy are great workouts to try.
Diet: Keep bones strong!!! Calcium and vitamin D can help you do that. Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, but other options are green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale. If you don’t get enough calcium from food, ask your doctor about supplements.
If you have joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis, eat more fish. Fatty cold-water types like salmon and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s may help keep joints healthy as well as lower inflammation, a cause of joint pain and tenderness in people with RA. Don’t like fish? Try fish oil capsules instead.
Chill Out Pain
Ice is a natural — and free — pain reliever. It numbs the hurt and eases swelling. If you have a sore joint, apply a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes at a time. You can also try a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel. Never apply ice directly to your skin.
Regina Curtin- Physiotherapist